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Plein Air artists to return for 43rd annual Pilgrimage

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Selma will serve as a muse for the Alabama Plein Air artists this weekend during Selma’s 43rd annual Historic Pilgrimage.

The painters will paint different historic homes and buildings throughout the city on March 16-17 from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. and from 1-4 p.m.

Karen Weir, president of the Selma Art Guild, said plein air is a French term that means “painting on location” or painting outside.

Weir said the coolest thing about plein air artistry is that people get to witness art being made.

“You get to see people create paintings,” she said. “You get to see from the blank white canvas to a finished painting.”

Weir said all of the painters are members of the Alabama Plein Air Artists and come from all over Alabama.

“They become members by being interested in painting outside and have someone sponsor them that is in the group that’s seen their paintings,” she said.

She said its free to join and of the group’s almost 190 members there is only room for under 30 painters to be showcased in the art sale afterwards and as a result, the spots fill up within 48 hours.

“The town really supports them and we usually sell a lot of paintings in a very short period of time,” she said.

Weir said because of Selma’s hospitality to the painters, the number of participants has increased throughout the years and has attracted new as well as repeat painters.

“We have, this year, quite a few new people who have heard how fun it is to come to Selma and they just jumped right on board when we opened it up,” she said.

Weir said this year, Old Cahaba has been added to their list of places to paint here in Dallas County

The finished paintings can be purchased during the Alabama Plein Air Artists’ “Wet Paint Sale” at the Selma Art Guild from 4:30-6 p.m. on Saturday March 17.

For more information contact Karen Weir at the Selma Art Guild at (334) 874-9017.